Dean Bill Boulding Visits White House to Discuss Challenges Facing Women
April 17, 2014
Dean Bill Boulding is quick to point out that business schools haven’t always gotten it right when it comes to developing leaders.
“As educators, we need to help redefine the culture of business in fostering leaders who think about more than the bottom line,” Boulding said.
Boulding accepted an invitation from the White House to meet with senior administration officials and other deans about how business schools can develop leaders who are sensitive to the challenges of working families.
“Business schools can certainly help foster leaders who create work environments that consider the needs of their employees,” Boulding said.
The roundtable session held in the West Wing of the White House on April 16th included Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarett, and Director of the National Economic Council Jeffrey Zients.
The meeting was held in preparation for the White House Summit on Working Families in June.
“In order to ensure business practices that fully utilize a 21st century workforce, it is important for business school deans to update their curriculum and practices to fully reflect the importance of women and working families in our labor market,” officials wrote on the White House blog.
Much of the conversation was devoted to how businesses could better support the workforce with things like flexible work environments and mentorships for women. However, the group also discussed retention rates, business school culture, and the timing of business school in a woman’s life.
The White House says it will take the feedback from the meeting and compile a document of best practices that it will ask business schools deans around the country to sign.
Boulding said he was pleased by the discussion.
“We must educate future executives who recognize that diversity within a team is key to the strength of any organization or business. In order to foster that diversity, leaders need to understand challenges specific to women and working families. I am pleased to see administration officials and my peers taking gender and diversity issues very seriously.”